250cc vs. 450cc Dirt Bike: A Comparison

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If you are planning on getting a dirt bike, a primary consideration is the size of the engine you want to get. Dirt bike engine sizes can range from 80cc all the way to 450cc and higher, but that said, two of the most popular options are the 250cc vs 450cc dirt bike.

We will be comparing these two sizes in this article. Let’s start by discussing the significant differences between the 250 and 450 dirt bikes.

A Comparison: 250cc and 450cc


Simply put, a bigger bike and engine also mean that 450cc dirt bikes usually cost more than 250cc dirt bikes. Of course, the larger the engine, the more powerful the bike and the better the performance.

Sure, a 250cc dirt is still quite powerful, but nothing like a 450. This difference in size and power translates to a difference in cost. On average, a 250cc dirt bile will top out at around $8,000, whereas a 450cc bike can cost as much as $10,000 or more.


Weight is another difference to consider. Yes, 450cc engines are larger and require more space, which automatically makes them heavier than their 250cc counterparts. Generally speaking, you can expect a 450cc dirt bike to weigh anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds more than a 250cc dirt bike, depending on the model.

A heavier bike can be harder to maneuver, especially for beginners, so keep that in mind.


Another significant difference is that 250cc dirt bikes are smaller than their 450cc counterparts in terms of width and height. On the other hand, 450cc dirt bikes tend to be taller and broader, which affects the maneuverability and determines who can ride them.

For instance, a tall person will feel somewhat cramped on a small 250cc bike, whereas a very short person’s feet might not even be able to reach the ground when riding a 450cc dirt bike. Simply put, some 450cc dirt bikes are just too big and wide for small people to ride.

Speed and Acceleration

You might have determined that 450cc engines are larger and more powerful than 250cc engines, which translates to increased speed and faster acceleration.

When it comes down to it, a 250cc dirt bike will usually top out at around 70 or 75 miles per hour, which is not bad, but nothing when compared to a 450cc dirt bike that can potentially reach speeds over 130 miles per hour.

Basically, the 450cc dirt bike will allow you to go much faster than the much smaller 250cc dirt bike. However, when it comes to racing, if both riders have the same skill level, the rider who has the faster bike will win. Therefore, if your plans include racing, a larger, more powerful, and speedier dirt bike is probably the better option.

250cc vs. 450cc Dirt Bike

Control and Maneuverability

So 450cc bikes are much more powerful and faster than their smaller counterparts, but with that being said, it also serves to reason that they are harder to control.

When it comes down to it, the incredible acceleration and high speeds that 450cc dirt bikes provide also make them harder to control. In addition, they are also heavier, so they require more effort to control.

Increased weight, faster acceleration reaction times, and higher speeds are all things that make 450cc bikes harder to control, and therefore not the most ideal choice for a beginner.

Beginner Friendliness

Yet another factor, especially if you are a new rider, is that because 450cc dirt bikes are heavier, faster, and harder to control, they are not ideal for children and people who have no or limited experience riding dirt bikes. If it is your first time riding a dirt bike, you don’t want as much power under your backside as a 450cc engine provides.

As a beginner, even a 250cc engine might be a bit too much to handle.

Rider Fatigue

One thing that may surprise you is that riding a 250cc dirt bike can be more tiring than riding a 450cc dirt bike. It takes a lot less effort, endurance, and footwork to move on a 450cc bike than a 250cc bike.

Although a 250 bike will offer you more control, it also requires more effort to ride, especially when it comes to hand and footwork. Although a 450cc dirt bike is harder to control, it takes less effort and energy to do so. That said, if you are looking for a good workout, both mental and physical, then the 250cc is an excellent option.


Because 450cc dirt bikes are bigger and faster, they also tend to be more dangerous. They quickly accelerate, are harder to control, and reach higher speeds, so accidents involving 450cc dirt bikes are often more serious than those with 250cc dirt bikes. So while a 250cc dirt bike is fine for an intermediate rider, to stay safe on a 450cc dirt bike, you need to know what you are doing.

City Riding

Finally, keep in mind that the smaller and easier to control 250cc dirt bikes are better suited for city riding than the larger, heavier, faster, and harder to control 450cc bikes.


Now that you know the significant differences between 250cc and 450cc dirt bikes, you can make an informed decision. When it comes down to it, if you are a beginner, you probably want to start with something smaller.

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